When your imaginary world is real

I started my screenplay with the idea of placing it in a fake town in upstate New York. Living so close to the Pennsylvania/New York border affords me with chances of venturing there from time to time. It seemed like a good idea.

The fake town had to have the following characteristics: 1) It had to be large enough to have an art scene and a museum. My central character is a photographer and a museum worker, so the town had to be suitable for her to make a comfortable living. 2) The town would be within three to four hours away from a large city. I picked Buffalo as that city because it is large enough to have professional sports teams but small enough not to be intimidating. 3) It was going to be west of the Hudson River.

The gears in my mind began to come up with a name. I thought that an English-based name would be easier to work with. That was when I had a vision. I saw water and a large, red building. There was a watermill and rolling hills. That was when I came up with Millbrook, and it was perfect.

Before long, I had named an art gallery with an owner who dreamed of owning her own gallery in New York City. The museum was run by the local historical society and gave free tours to groups of schoolchildren. Millbrook was part of a five-town community outside of the Finger Lakes region.


That was until I Googled Millbrook and learned that it actually existed. It’s a village east of the Hudson River outside of Poughkeepsie with a logo that looked like my vision. It’s not large enough to have an art scene or much of a museum. It’s best known for fox hunting and horseback riding. It has a spooky, abandoned boarding school. The residents are well to do, and the village happens to be a part of a five-town community in the Hudson Valley.


Bennett School for Girls - Millbrook, NY - 10, Mar - 02
Bennett School for Girls — Sébastien Barré


My imaginary world is shattered. I must think of another name for it, but I really liked the one I thought I invented. I have to live Millbrook to the foxes.



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